Início Tech Arket Is on a Retail Streak, With Openings in Milan, Barcelona, Europe

Arket Is on a Retail Streak, With Openings in Milan, Barcelona, Europe


LONDON — It’s a big year for Arket, which is opening 12 stores in 2024 — two of them this week — as it expands its reach across Europe.  

On Tuesday, the company will open a store in Milan’s Piazza Cordusio spanning 10,760 square feet across two floors. The interiors will wink to the local culture and architecture, with some of the flooring done in red and white marble.

Barcelona, Spain, is up next, with a store in Passeig de Gràcia, opening on Friday.

Arket, which is part of the H&M group, offers men’s, women’s and children’s wear, home furnishings and bath and body products. It’s a family lifestyle shop and the larger stores have cafés offering fresh bread, coffee and pastries, encouraging people to socialize and slow down.

The name rhymes with “market,” and that’s no accident.

“We wanted it to be a place to meet, like markets were in the old days, a place where you did your shopping but where you also met and talked,” said Pernilla Wohlfahrt, managing director of Arket and an H&M group veteran.

Arket in Paris.

“In the fast-paced world we live in, we felt we wanted to create a sort of place where you could actually relax,” she added. Wohlfahrt said that customers have fully embraced the spirit of the stores and are lingering, having coffee with friends or taking a break with young children at the café.

In keeping with the market theme, the merchandise is meant to be colorful, practical and democratic.

She said the offer is “based around timeless essentials for the whole family and for many people and age groups.” The store also carries a selection of third-party brands, ranging from New Balance sneakers to Bordallo Pinheiro leaf plates.

The brand launched in 2017 on Regent Street in London and has been steadily building momentum, expanding in northern Europe and Asia-Pacific.

This year will be its busiest by far, with a total of 12 stores set to open. By yearend, the tally will be 40 stores in 16 markets. Arket.com is available in 31 markets.

The Barcelona store is located on the ground and first floors of a former residential building, built in 1900. It spans 7,000 square feet, with a large terrace facing the courtyard on the first floor. The store combines Arket’s signature monochrome palette of soft grays with natural materials such as solid oak interiors, custom-made terrazzo flooring, and fresh green plants. 

It will also feature a pop-up bookshop with the Barcelona-based publishing house Apartamento. There will be a selection of literature on food, art, and everyday aesthetics curated by the Apartamento team.

An Arket café in Korea.

In the next months, Arket units are set to open in Warsaw and Dublin, with sizes depending on the location.

Last November, Arket opened its first shop-in-shop, at Selfridges Oxford Street, measuring 893 square feet.

Most other stores are larger, ranging in size from 2,150 square feet to almost 13,000 square feet. Arket’s store in Paris’ Marais measures around 4,900 square feet. Similar to the upcoming Milan store, there is a nod to the local architecture with an open fireplace and fishbone parquet on the floors.

South Korea is Arket’s largest market in terms of stores. It has six units in the country, “and the café was full as soon as the first store opened,” said Wohlfahrt, adding that the Korean market has been “extremely important for a long time.”

Asked about Arket’s position in the group portfolio, Wohlfahrt said the offer is meant to complement the other brands in the H&M group.

“From the beginning the whole idea was to find a new customer — or [court] an existing  H&M group customer who was looking for another type of product, perhaps for a certain occasion.”

She said maybe they started as an H&M brand shopper, but they’ve since grown up, had a family of their own and have less time to shop.

“That’s why we try to inspire them with the ‘market tables’ in the stores, which show all the concepts,” she said.

“We believe our customers are interested in fashion, but they also have a lot of other interests, like spending time with friends and family, doing sports, and cooking. So shopping needs to be inspiring — and easy,” she added.

An Arket store in Shanghai.

As part of that lifestyle approach, Arket teamed with Mr Porter last year on a capsule collection for adults and kids. The limited-edition collection featured accessories, coats, anoraks, sweaters, T-shirts, trousers and caps, with many pieces twinned in design so that families could dress alike — or at least color-coordinate.  

The capsule also had an environmental angle. The two retail brands partnered with Planet Good Earth, a London-based community project that aims to bring families together through gardening, and inspire them to pay more attention to the environment.

Arket continues to pursue its environmental and sustainability strategies, with the stores featuring restored pieces by Artek 2nd Cycle, the platform for pre-loved Finnish design furniture and objects.

The stores also have take-back programs for Arket clothing and other brands as well. It is hoping to roll out its resale platform internationally, and is also testing childrenswear rental. In the fall, Arket plans to join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which helps brands test and engage with the circular economy.



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